How far ahead do you plan your sits?

Hi everyone! Just joined last month and having a blast. Also learning a lot in the forum so thanks to everyone for sharing. I’m curious, how far in advance do you plan your sits? I’m currently booked through November and considering what looks like a great sit at the end of December/beginning of January, but feeling slightly hesitant to plan that far in advance.

Hi and Welcome.
This topic has been raised many times. Use the spyglass at the top right and type in “Planning Ahead”
It will list all the threads you require

We are full-time sitters and tend to plan a few months ahead, longer for intercontinental sits.

We usually start off with a longer sit in a country and then find shorter “fillers”, that sometimes come up a few weeks ahead

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We are full-time sitters and usually book around 3 months in advance but more recently are trying to hold back more as we see so many great last-minute sits that we would have loved to have been able to do.

Having said that, we were tempted again today and confirmed a sit for May 2024!


We are full time sitters - we plan ahead knowing where we want to be for the year ahead. For example if there are events ( social, family, or work ) on specific dates during the year where we want to be in a certain country / area .

Once we have this plan, we can then look for long sits that locate us in the right area on the right date .

This enables us to commit to long sits ( 6-8 weeks in duration ) up to 8-9 months in advance . Shorter sits we fit around these dates.

If something comes up in the right place , for the right dates ( and is a match in all/most other ways ) we’ll apply for it .

We don’t worry too much about filling the gaps until we’ve got to a month before . By then something has usually fallen into place or we realise that we feel like taking a break from sitting for a week or two - / visiting family / vacation without any responsibilities.

Having long sits confirmed ahead gives us the ability to plan ahead and gaps in our schedule gives us flexibility.

Where we see a great sit but the dates are “wrong” (for us) we will save it as a favourite. In the hope that one day they will re-list and the dates will work for us .


Welcome to the wonderful world of housesitting.
You’ll find lots of answers to your question as already mentioned by searching the forum. However, I’m currently booked until the end of April next year and the sit I’m on at the moment was booked almost 2 years in advance! That is unusual though.


Where Colin?

We’re full time sitters and have sits in the diary up until a year in advance, so Sept 2024 @adicampbell - that said, we have a few months of gaps over the 12 months and also a plan B if things change for the HO. My husband is Turkish so quite a few destinations involve visas for us which may be why we’re more organised with the future planning than some sitters need to be. Enjoy THS :blush:

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I’m wondering what’s the cancellation rate on such a long in advance sits? Are you not afraid to buy tickets so well in advance (esp for intercontinental, and to a country not so popular in THS)? I’m trying to plan sth but I feel like more than 2 months ahead it’s a gamble…

Hi @MagdaB we have had three cancellations in about 18 sits internationally. Two from the same HO (one refunded ticket, one lost but it was cheap), not for a good reason but at least with some notice so we filled the gap elsewhere in Europe. The other was a last minute emergency and we filled it with last minute short sits in Germany and Switzerland. None of it was too expensive but there were a lot of logistics involved and you need to always be able to roll with plan b. If we’re heading further afield as in a new continent (Asia at the moment), then we buy a single ticket on a day that is a good price and then once that’s done we start to find sits in that region. If any should cancel then we can shift to say Malaysia from Thailand or Cambodia to Vietnam and so on with fairly little cost. When we come to Europe (we live in Turkey) we buy an inexpensive return in & out of one country and then use trains, buses and cheap flights as we move around there. If it’s Turkey or close by then it’s fairly cheap still. We will plan for NZ next year which will be more risky but we are seasoned travellers and sitters and we also still work. Always buy all tickets on a credit card so you have section 75 insurance and if it’s worth it (normally not) then choose the flex option in case of cancellations. I’d caveat that with the fact that these are THS sits (we also do others) and 99% of people on here are committed through the name, the membership & the culture so if you’re in, you’re in. That’s worked so far a full two years into this lifestyle. Hope that helps.


We’re heading back to sunny Manchester :sun_with_face: - To be honest, there is a slim chance it may do Karyo a favour if, at that time, he hasn’t managed to get to the office for a while so that was the main reason we agreed.


I had the same idea as Colin as I have gotten into the habit of planning way ahead. That said, what with several repeat sits and two new sits, I have already confirmed a fair chunk of Jan-Oct 2024 bcause I will also be most likely be doing a repeat sit (#4 for that host) in April-June next year.


Booking in the future is individual to everyone based on their comfort level and their flexibility. We’re full time travelers/sitters and are booked through the first of the year and have one booked Feb/Mar and have 2 3-peats booked for next June and July in the UK.
We have a basic idea what part of the world we plan to be and look for sits then. i.e. looking for the west coast of the US Mar & Apr and Europe next summer. We go from there. We try to get some longer sits scheduled and then work around them. We are on our 15th sit and haven’t had a problem with cancelations. As Colin said, sometimes great last minutes sits come up so you have to do what you are comfortable with. There should be lots of end of the year sits available but if you like the one you’re looking at, I say go for it! There will be plenty of back up sits if something happens.
Dan and Nan


How far out you book depends on a variety of factors, including your personality, travel experience, need for housing (f/t sitters have greater needs) and financial safety net.

Whenever you sit, there’s no guarantee that something won’t come up, say maybe a sit ends up canceled. I suggest considering what you’d do, worst-case scenario. If that’s not something you have confidence about dealing with, then maybe don’t take the risk of expensive airfare. Maybe in those cases you wait till you’ve gained more sitting or traveling experience, or more financial safety net, so you’ll feel less vulnerable.

For nomadic or full-time sitters, they’re self-selected folks who are more adventurous than many, people who are good at problem-solving. And they often have financial or personal safety net, so if things did go really wrong, they’d not end up stranded or without housing.

Personally, I’m used to problem-solving not only for myself, but others as well. And I have resources. But I shun being locked into plans far ahead, because I value flexibility. I generally avoid booking more than two or three months ahead. Currently, I have sits through October. I won’t likely book more for 2023, because of holidays. I also enjoy time at home.


And what a great sit it is @Smiley! Worth the wait AND neither of you cancelled with it being booked so far in advance!!!


If you feel hesitant about planning that far ahead, then simply go with your gut and don’t do it, everyone is different.

We are pretty much fully booked for the next year (ie until September 2024) with the exception of random weeks here and there, but that’s because we preferred it that way, because we’ve got a couple of 1-2 month sits next year.

But I am not planning on taking any bookings for after Sep 2024 until at least easter time to see how we feel then, and what we want to do.

Go with what feels right for you, right now, and then you can’t go wrong.


Hey there!
My partner and I are full time nomadic sitters that do back-to-back sits. This year we planned sits up to 6 months in advance. Everyone’s different - you can find sits at the last minute too!

We were coming from Romania and have had back-to-back sits planned all over the UK from June to November. All the sits were arranged before we left for the UK in June, and we started arranging them about a month or 2 before we left. We made ourselves a pet-sit calendar on Google docs, and slowly filled it all in, all the way up to November. If we have a few nights between sits, we either book an Airbnb or try and find short sits near where we are for those 1 or 2 nights. Sometimes hosts are also really nice and understanding and will let you stay an extra night if you ask/explain! :blush:

We’ve never had any cancellations, but if we did, I guess we would look for last minute sits and figure something out. We are also fortunate that we have family in Europe, so if something was cancelled and we couldn’t find anything else, we can just return home to family for a few weeks. We also only choose longer sits of 2+ weeks, because we are digital nomads who work weekdays and can’t be travelling every few days. This also means that people are less likey to cancel, because they’re going away for a longer time and they planned it months ago, with time booked off of work and everything.

But yeah, you can get sits a year in advance or a just a few days in advance - it’s up to you and what you find! :blush: